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Model

Berlinetta

Price

$691,100

The Numbers

6.3-litre V12, RWD, 545kW, 690Nm, 15.1L/100km, 0-100km/h in 3.1secs, 340km/h max

The Topgear Verdict

Amazingly fast, beautiful and sublime to drive: yet another stunning Ferrari.

2013 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta

What is it?

The Ferrari F12 is Ferrari’s fastest road car ever. Quicker than a 599GTO, quicker than an Enzo. It is astonishingly fast – and not just in a straight line, either. It goes around Ferrari’s Fiorano test track quicker than either of those two as well. To say it’s quite something is thus putting it a little mildly.

Thing is, from behind the wheel, if you don’t clock the fact it has 545kW and can hit 100km/h from rest in 3.1 seconds, you might be forgiven for thinking it was ‘just’ a replacement for the 599GTB. It’s that approachable, that friendly and easy to drive. It even looks elegant and, although beautiful, relatively understated with it. Until you dig deeper…

Driving

Ease the throttle into the floor and performance is devastating. It can hit 340km/h all out. Reaches 200km/h from rest in 8.5 seconds (8.5 seconds!) – yes, this 6.3-litre V12 is exceptional. It also sounds blindingly good, an overload of aural goodness. The exhaust crackles when you back off in a tunnel are unbelievable. The double clutch gearbox is a honey, too.

The chassis is just as well honed. It has the fastest steering of any Ferrari, nearly a third less body roll than the 599, there’s a total lack of slack or slop and the whole car’s a clean and precise doddle to drive. Not as satisfying as a 458, maybe, but very rich and rewarding all the same.

This focus is intentional. Remember, the front-engined V12 is the most heavily used of all Ferraris: people drive them every day. They have to be as comfortable and as reliable as they are searing to drive. This is all that and so much more.

And although there are a conspicuous lack of wings on the outside, boy, does this thing grip. The holes in the front wings clean up the airflow, vents above the rear wheels prevent pressure build up, flaps open to aid brake cooling: it all combines to make the F12 a beautifully balanced thing that doesn’t seem to know what the word ‘understeer’ is.

On the inside

Well, you can see from the pictures it’s beautiful. Similar to the FF, yes, but that’s no bad thing. The driving position is also spot on, the steering wheel is sublime, while the seats are comfortable (although the optional fang-like sports seats are a bit too firm) and stowage space is fine. Even the boot is good – at 320 litres, it’s just 30 litres smaller than a VW Golf hatch. It can extend to 500 litres, matching a Ford Mondeo.

Owning

Drive it and you’ll be convinced it’s worth every penny of $691,100. That even includes a seven-year unlimited mileage maintenance package. Despite the power, fuel economy is better than before too, and CO2 of 350g/km is positively earthly for a 545kW hypercar like this. Not that F12 customers will care about that. They’ll just want to get into the thing. Best join the queue, then…

Driven: November 07, 2013